If you don’t believe entrepreneurship is a grueling job, just ask Ignacio Guglielmetti. Ignacio says he has never worked harder than he does for his startup Cuida Mi Mascota, and he used to be a management consultant – one of the most demanding jobs out there. His path from consulting to building a pet-sitting startup was far from clear; it took him to the Netherlands, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. One might say that Ignacio knows a thing or two about doing business across borders.
In this episode of Crossing Borders, I invited Ignacio to discuss his two startups, how he studied in Buenos Aires and Rotterdam, what it was like to merge with a competitor in Latin America, having a startup acquired, the difference between all the accelerators Ignacio has participated in (three, in three different countries!), and how Ignacio became an angel investor. Check out this episode to learn about doing business across Latin America’s biggest economies, including how to do business in Brazil as a Spanish-speaking entrepreneur.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency initiatives in Brazil are a double-edged sword. While startups and government agencies work to implement blockchain technologies to increase compliance and reduce corruption, Brazil’s 35th President, Lula da Silva, is on his way to prison in part for a Bitcoin-based money-laundering scandal.
Brazil, like the rest of the G20, sees cryptocurrencies as assets rather than legal tender. However, one of São Paulo’s most prestigious universities debuted a Cryptocurrencies Masters’ program this year, so it is unclear where Brazil will land on this contentious debate. What’s more, Brazil’s private and public sectors are rapidly adopting blockchain technology to manage the political and economic challenges of a population of 210 million people.
Here are some of the ways governments and businesses are implementing blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Brazil.
Blockchain and the Brazilian government
The Brazilian government already uses blockchain in a variety of ways for their operations. Two of the most prominent initiatives include a way to regulate land titles in the Amazon as well as a management system for Brazil’s ‘popular petition’ electoral process.
Brazil’s economy experienced ups and downs over the past decade. Almost immediately after Forbes published an article raving about Brazil’s entrepreneurial potential in 2012, Brazil entered one of the most disastrous economic crises in the region. Just this year, stories of political corruption, monetary deflation, and falling commodity prices have plagued Latin America’s largest country.
Brazil is a country of contradictions. In the first three months of 2018, Brazil produced three new startup unicorns. The first was 99, acquired by Didi Chuxing for a rumored US$1B. Then in quick succession, PagSeguro reached US$2.7B in its January 2018 IPO (the 5th highest IPO ever), and Nubank became the third unicorn of 2018 with a US$150M Series E round in March 2018.
As the largest market in Latin America, with a population of over 210 million people, Brazil is still the most attractive country for investment and growth in the region for many investors. Despite the economic downturn, international investors often look to Brazil first when they want to enter the Latin American market. Many tech giants, such as Google, Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon, have built offices in São Paulo before moving into other Latin American markets. Many entrepreneurs look to invest in Brazil for their long-term growth strategies, as well.
Movile is a global leader in mobile marketplaces with a dream to make life better for 1 billion people through marketplaces on their mobile devices. Movile is a remarkable story of innovation from Latin America, driven by people who are willing to take risks to learn and grow quickly.
I sat down with the CEO and founder of Movile, Fabricio Bloisi, to talk about why he started Movile and how he and his team grew it to the largest mobile company in Brazil and Latin America.
Movile focused on innovating and exploring advanced technologies
In its early stage, Movile focused on text messages (SMS) and then enabled ringtone commerce in Brazil, as well as the development of the country’s first Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) search portal. In 2007, Bloisi focused on expansion. In 2008, and Movile built itself into the largest company in the Latin American mobile commerce industry through new products and mergers and acquisitions, establishing a presence in over ten countries with offices in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico.